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Harlow Unger Education. (2009) Harlow Unger ('The Last Founding Father').

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Washington 36, America 14, Virginia 13, James Monroe 7, France 7, Lafayette 7, Monroe 5, Jefferson 5, Paris 5, Louisiana 4, U.s. 4, New York 4, Adams 3, United States 3, Thomas Jefferson 3, John Quincy Adams 3, Elizabeth Monroe 3, Jackson 3, Elizabeth 3, Europe 3,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Harlow Unger  Education.  (2009)  
   Harlow Unger ('The Last Founding Father').  

    November 23, 2009
    1:00 - 2:00am EST  

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one of the only two figures standing in that boat. now monroe didn't actually crossed the delaware in the same boat as washington but trumbull put him there to show him as the greek hero of the battle of trenton under washington's leadership. trumbull also put him next to washington to recognize him as the second greatest and second most beloved president after washington and the early years of the republic. indeed monroe was the only president other than washington to be elected without opposition. as with washington, americans trusted and loved monroe so completely that political parties disappeared, vanished. everyone voted for the monroe. and yet if you ask the average american today to identify him, he or she probably wouldn't know who monroe was. one person suggested he was a
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point guard on the new york basketball team and another was certain he was marilyn monroe's father and that's tragic. it's tragic because monroe was the last of our founding fathers. and next to washington the greatest. he was the last president to have fought and lived through the american revolution, and as president he transformed a tiny nation that washington had created and to an empire that stretched from sea to shining sea. it was he, not jefferson, who bought louisianan. it was he who wrote to florida from spain and it was he, james monroe, who stretched america's frontiers to the pacific ocean. back to the battle of trenton for a moment. as i said, monroe didn't cross the delaware on the same boat as washington. he crossed earlier with a squad that landed on the jersey shore to the north of trenton and
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circled behind the town while washington landed with his troops on the riverside below the town. now what makes trenton so important is that the british had almost won the war by christmas of 1776. their troops had overrun on the island, new york, westchester and most of new jersey. thousands of american troops had deserted and the british had chased the remnants of washington's army across new jersey over the delaware and in to pennsylvania. white coats were in sight of the american capital. congress had fled to baltimore and began debating terms of could the chelation -- capitulation. unless washington could come up with a miracle, and he chose a young college student, lieutenant james monroe, to help me cut miracle happen. they all crossed the delaware during a blinding snowstorm on
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christmas night only six months after we had declared independence. in trenton 3,000 haitian mercenaries had spent the evening celebrating, and because of the snowstorm, they went to sleep without posting some trees. at dawn the next morning, monroe and his squad sneaked up to the cannon in place at the top of the king street in trenton. the main street washington would have to come up with to capture the town. a haitian soldier stepped outside to do you know what and he spotted them. he shouted the enemy, the haitians poured out into the snow storm in their nightclothes firing at monroe and his men. he felt wounded. the haitians pounced. he and his men fought them off until washington and his troops could fight their way of king street and for stations to surrender. it was sheer luck that a surgeon
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happened to wander by, type of an artery, stopped the bleeding and monroe's orman and saved his life. thanks to monroe and washington gave him an official accommodation and promotion to captain. thanks to monroe washington won the battle of trenton. the victory revived the morale of the american troops and of the american public and saved the revolution. for the first time our citizens soldiers with little or no training defeat to a professional army from europe. congress returned to philadelphia and abandoned thoughts of surrendering. and when monroe was well enough he rejoined washington's army, fought heroically and he won where lafayette was wounded and monreal helped save the frenchman's life. monroe went on to survive the winter at valley forge and then
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served heroically at the battle of monmouth. like george washington, monroe grew up in a modest virginia farm but after the war he decided against full-time farming. he went back to finish his education at the college of william and mary and studied law under thomas jefferson. lonrho then chose public service as a full-time career. the first american leader ever to do so. by the time he died, he had held more offices than any public figure in history. state legislator, congressman, ambassador to france, to britain, minister to spain, fourth term governor of his home state of virginia, u.s. secretary of state, secretary of war, and finally, to term president of the united states, the fifth president. as governor of virginia he became the second most powerful figure in america.
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virginia then was america's largest, wealthiest and heavily populated state with 20% of the american population. it stretched all the way to the mississippi river and all the way north to the great lakes. it was enormous and the prestige and its importance of the governor was akin to the governors of california, illinois, new york and texas put together. and monroe was not only governor of america's most important state, he was a national hero in the revolutionary war. in other words he was a giant in his day and i don't understand why historians ignore him which is why i wrote this book to restore him to his rightful place in american history as the most important president in the early days of the nation. now some historians elevate john adams to historical prominence
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and most historians deify thomas jefferson and james madison and these were three great founding fathers and great political philosophers but there were disasters presidents. those three men left the nation worse than it had been when washington seated him the presidency and 20 years earlier. john adams went to war, declared a naval war on the french. he stripped americans of their first amendment rights to free speech and freedom of the press. thomas jefferson imposed a trade in bordeaux that bankrupted the nation. and james madison declared war on necessarily on britain which had just signed a peace treaty. those three presidents left the nation still threatened on the north by british troops, threatened on the south and
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threatened in the west as indian tribes slaughtered farmers. it took monroe to end those threats and leave the still small, still poor, still undeveloped nation to greatness. it took monroe to transform that little nation into an entire. along the way to greet miss monroe fell in love with and married a beautiful elizabeth kortright, a new york eris who unlike most women every day had received a magnificent education in the arts, history and literature. she could hold her own with the best educated men of her era. theirs was perhaps the greatest wealth affair in white house history. you talk about passion let me put it this way the history book club put the monroe story on the front cover and first two pages
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of its christmas catalog. it buried bill clinton and monica lewinsky on the inside. [laughter] the one rosa adored each other. they were inseparable throughout their lives together. everywhere he went she was by his side, elegant in her dress and wearing. when you see portraits in my book you will see she was the most beautiful, the most elegant first leedy in american history. also, the most courageous. monroe was still a senator when president washington sent him to france to negotiate with revolutionary government and elizabeth and their daughter went with him. once in paris they learned that they had in present lafayette's wife and sentenced her to death on the guillotine. lonrho couldn't do anything about it without risking his diplomatic status. so we elizabeth took matters into her own hand.
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she got into their carriage and in an adventure out of the movie she drove through the mob by herself to the prison gates she had a driver of course but she was alone in the carriage and when she got to the present she demanded to see lafayette, and eventually won her release. elizabeth monroe was only about 5 feet tall, a tiny little leedy but the courage and heart of joan of arc and she won the hearts of the french people. they called her beautiful american lady. monroe helped lafayette and her three children flee to france to safety. together elizabeth and james monroe save the lives of lafayette's wife and family. it is a truly thrilling story that i hope he will read. on his next mission to france a
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decade later this time for president jefferson, monroe went with $9 million from congress to negotiate the purchase of the island of new orleans. that is all he was supposed to do. so the farmers west of the appalachians could float down the mississippi to new orleans for shipment to overseas markets. instead of buying in ireland monroe borrowed 6 million more dollars from an english bank on his own signature and doubled the size of the nation. by almost a million acres, the largest territory ever acquired by any nation in history from another without a war. a million acres and a bargain price of 2 cents per acre. even in those days the average price for wilderness, land was $2 an acre.
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the purchase stretched the nation's boundaries to the rocky mountains and gave ownership of the great mississippi river valley. it was monroe, not jefferson which engineered the louisiana purchase. and as president, jefferson took credit for the deal of course, but he in fact almost canceled it as you will see in my book. he had to be talked out of canceling the deal. he thought it was unconstitutional, and it was, for the u.s. government to buy foreign territory. now, while james monroe was in paris mining louisianan at a bargain, elizabeth monroe was doing bargain shopping of her own. snapping up french furniture and furnishings. the french revolutionaries had deluded thousands of beautiful homes and chateaus and used furniture shops in paris, had piles of magnificent
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louis xiv, xv, xvi furniture at bargain prices. she bought dozens of beautiful pieces and a leader as first lady filled the white house with those priceless european treasures. transformed it into the glittering palace it is today. you can see those pieces if you tour the white house today. av long stunning silver tray with magnificent silver candelabra sits on along dining table that is still used often for formal state dinners. in her portrait by the way hangs in the east room on wall opposite of the podium that the president uses at his press conferences as he answers reporters' questions he can stare over their ugly faces and be inspired by her beauty on the opposite wall. if you ever see him you will know why. another great thing the monroes durham the second trip to paris
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to save the life of a family from destitution. the french revolution had left him bankrupt. james monroe convinced the british bank to accept some land in the american wilderness as collateral and advanced lafayette enough cash to recover financially. james monroe became america's fifth president, two years after the end of the war of 1812. in which the british invasion left the public buildings of our capital gutted by fire. americans call the war of 1812 madison's war because james madison and his incompetent cabinet urged him to declare war on britain and invade canada instead of waiting for a peace treaty to arrive from england. in doing so madison and his war secretary left the city of washington on defended. when he realized his mistakes
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madison pleaded with monroe to become secretary of state and then to become secretary of war to hold the tube secretary ships simultaneously. monroe to prevent the british from attacking washington but it was too late. so he threw all fun and he could muster in to fort mchenry to protect baltimore the next target city of the british invasion. as you know, that battle raged through the night but at dawn's early our flag was still there and the british retreated. thanks largely to the brilliance of james monroe. but the capitol building and the presidential mansion, as it was called,. they slathered on thick coats of white paint to cover the black and exterior of the president's house and that's when the house got its name, the white house, for the first time. and it was elizabeth monroe, the
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first first lady to live in it after the war who redecorated and refurbished the interior and turned into america's most beautiful home. while elizabeth was refurbishing the white house, her husband was refurbishing a nation ravaged by war. he determined to make the nation impregnable to future attacks by foreign enemies. he not only reinforced existing defenses, he expanded our boundaries to the natural defenses of the oceans, lakes, rivers and mountains that surround the continent. he sent andrew jackson and a small army to seize florida from spain. then forced spain to redraw the western boundaries of the louisiana territory to extend into the rocky mountains. and northward to the pacific ocean. for the first time since they declared independence americans
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were secure of attack by foreign troops and they streamed westward over the appalachian mountains into the wilderness to claim their share of america buying up wilderness land from the government and carving out forms, harvesting firms, timber, ore, in an era when land, not money, land was wealth. the land rush at its six states to the union and produced the largest redistribution of wealth in the annals of man. never before in history had a sovereign state transferred ownership of so much land and so much political power to so many people bought of noble rank. and with land ownership americans gained the right to vote, to stand for office, to govern themselves, their communities, the states in the nation.
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you couldn't vote and couldn't stand for office if you didn't owned land. if you own the land you owned the nation. to ensure success for the land rush and perpetuate economic growth, monroe promoted construction rhodes, turnpikes, bridges and canals that linked every region of the nation without lights to the sea and shipping routes to the world. the massive building program is transformed the american wilderness into the most prosperous productive nation honor to. the economic recovery converted u.s. government deficits into such a large surpluses at monroe abolished all personal federal taxes in america. monroe's presidency made poor man rich. it encouraged the arts, literature, music and fine art. he turned political allies and friends and united a divided people as no president had done since washington and never would again perhaps until the second
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world war. political party is dissolved, disappeared. americans of all political persuasions rallied under a single star spangled banner and every elected him to the presidency without opposition. the only president other than washington to win the presidency without opposition. he created an era never seen before or since in american history, and the era of good feelings they called it then that propelled the nation and its people to greatness. after he built american military and naval power to the levels that made our shores impregnable monroe climaxed his presidency and startle the world with the most important political manifesto after the declaration of independence. the monroe doctrine. monroe word of the world that the united states would no
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longer permit foreign incursions' in the americas. and in fact he used a diplomatic language to reiterate the warning of the coiled rattlesnake on the flag of the virginia regiment in the revolutionary war. don't tread on me. it was unprecedented in world history the monroe doctrine, more accurately manifesto unilaterally extended american sphere of influence over one-third of the globe the entire western hemisphere. and in effect he told the world we would not meddle in their affairs but don't they ever dare try meddling and hours. he told the world there would profit more by treating with us and trading with the americas and trying to conquer us. although monroe infuriated some foreign heads of state he left americans wild with joy, giving universal reclamation.
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henry clay the kentucky senator and some time opponent of monroe put him you have made me prouder of my country than i ever was before. now, some of you i know are wondering about the slavery issue. and monroe like washington and other virginia planters owned slaves. but consider slavery in laurel. but saw no way to end the practice without a blood bath. but i will use one myself. the first thing to remember is that slavery was not in america's institution. it was british, french and spanish. america's inherited after it was 200-years-old. virginians have actually voted to ban slavery in the early 1700's. but the british government of good clean overruled the act
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largely because the royal treasury depended on revenues from british slave traders. in the decades that followed under the three king george's virginians petitioned time after time to end slavery importation. the georges all refused to and during their brains or africans crossed the atlantic to america than europeans and voluntarily of course. ironically the increase in the number of slaves was more of a burden than benefit to most virginia planters. sleeves were usually unskilled and unable to speak english and they had fewer incentives to work in peace workers in the north and as they aged and fathered children they added enormous numbers of nonproductive infants and elderly to the population the
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planters had to support. in only 50 years from 17221770 just before the american revolution, in those 50 years virginia slave population grew almost eightfold from two to 5,000 when the problem was still controllable to nearly 200,000 or more than 90% of the white population. virginians owned 40% of all the slaves in america and with slave traders streaming up the james river virginians feared that blacks would soon outnumber whites and staged an uprising that would end in a bloodbath. so most virginia planters wanted to in the importation of slaves and get rid of the ones they had, but where would they go, 200,000 people in the north of there were plenty of cities with craftsman shops and factories
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with apprentice ships to teach friedman new skills. the south was strictly agrarian with few towns and almost no cities. the end of the road out of one plantation lead only to the beginning of the road into the next. so where exactly were the sleeves to go? how would the feed and clothe themselves? where would they live? the only jobs in the south were for field workers. it was the widespread fear of sleeve rebellions that sparked the idea of resettling blacks in africa and in 1817 the year after monroe's election of the presidency a group of southern plantation owners joined with number abolitionists to form an alliance called the american colonization society to purchase and emancipate sleeves and transport them to africa. president monroe's urging congress appropriated $100,000,
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a lot of money than to fund an agency to return africans captured from slave traders to return them to their native land. in 1821 the colonization society bought a large tract of land at the mouth of the st. paul river and present day liberia as a temporary haven for returning sleeves and expecting them to set off for their native villages in the interior. after the three or four generations in america they didn't know whether any the which is worse of you moved into the interior and the settlement grew into a city that they named monroe to honor of the american president. unfortunately the work of the colonization society started about 40 years too late. the economy of the south converted from tobacco to cotton. tobacco plantations had depended on skilled hands to grow, harvest and treat the tender
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crops which usually force planters to foster worker continent by providing adequate care for worker families including nonproductive children and the elderly and crippled. cotton changed all that, changed the economy and sleeve existence dramatically. it requires no skills. no skills to plant or harvest. they absorb women, children, the elderly as long as they can stand, walk or crawl. cotton opened also agriculture to a new class of crore. almost every white man could join. all he needed was a patch of land, a whip and enough money to buy a slave. white leaders and craftsman who had traditionally opposed slavery as free labor that deprived them of jobs suddenly became its buying their own
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small pieces of land and a slave to work free of any cost of the insistence and living quarters. cruelty replaced paternalism across the south, the crack of the whip could be heard across the fields and violent revolt against the crackers the can as inevitable as violent opposition to abolition. the slavery issue had become insoluble. the men like washington and monroe had come 120 years too late. monroe died almost penniless. even as a youngster he had always considered service to his country as a sacred obligation so like washington he refused all pay for serving in the revolutionary war as a lieutenant and capt and finally colonel all without pay. leader as america's ambassador to france he bought a fine house in paris to serve as both u.s.
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embassy and living quarters for the family. assuming congress would reimburse him. he was wrong. throughout his career in public service he covered the cost of his office always assuming he would be reimbursed and he never was. when lafayette came to visit united states in 1824 and heard of the outgoing president monroe's financial plight he responded immediately by your monroe, please let your best and most grateful friend went to some resources to put your affairs in order. remember when i was in similar circumstances on accepted your help that should give me the right to reciprocity. monroe was deeply moved but far too proud. and my dear friend, he told la degette i can never take anything from you for your family. i have known and seen it too much of yours and they're
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suffering to commit such outrage. but if i ever visit france i shall make your house my home for a long time. like jefferson, monroe sold his beautiful virginia plantation to pay his debt and he then moved into the house with his daughter and son-in-law in new york city where he awaited death penniless but free of debt. as he lay-bon he found enough strength to write to his old friend in virginia before were president, james madison, for whom monroe served as both secretary of state and secretary of war but they had known each other since they were young men in their 20s. my condition renders the restoration of my health very on certain. it is very distressing to sell my property for besides parting with all i have i deeply regret that there is no prospect of our ever meeting again.
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we had for so long been connected in public and private life in the most friendly way that a final separation is among the most distressing incidents that could occur to me. monroe's letter said the aging madison that he replied by returned career. the pain i feel up the idea of our never meeting again afflicts me deeply associated as it is with a recollection of long, close and uninterrupted friendship which united us. the paint mix me hope you might be brought back to us. this is the happiness, my feelings covet. i will not despair your being able to keep up your connection with virginia. monroe died a few weeks later on july 4th, 1831 at the age of 73, the third american president to die on july 4th and last of the
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revolutionary war presidents. in his eulogy to monroe john quincy adams and adams served monroe for eight years as his secretary of state and had grown very close to him. ..
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>> thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen,. [applause] i will be happy to take any questions. >> let me see if you agree why he did not get notoriety. life experience comes from several things come a scandal, victories are controversy be he seems to have avoided all three of those five very good skillful diplomatic bidding people to cooperate in getting things done without getting himself that kind of notoriety. >> that may be one answer.
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another is he is very difficult to read about. he just did his job and did not seek a tremendous amount of publicity as did some of the others people who have been written about. >> in your book you describe the end of the party system under monroe. and the consequences are fairly calamitous. maybe it is an instructive lesson of our times but could you speak about the causes of the british invasion of washington end, zero or was it the anti-federalist taking over the federalist position? >> the first is about the end of parties which was a result of monroe bringing everyone together a new 19
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everyone in the spirit of rebuilding the country, the nation. unfortunately there were consequences with the disappearance of political parties the members of his cabinet unfortunately, he was too honest of a man and after two years of the second term he said he would not run again. but the members of his cabinet started to buy his seat and they became political ambitions came forward and with no political party system, he had no way to discipline them other than toss them out of his cabinet or his office but there was no party structure left to discipline any of these potential candidates. that was one of the unfortunate all-out with the elections, one of them died
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before the election but four of them ran and nobody got a majority of the electoral college so it went to congress if they gave the election for john quincy adams over into jackson even though jackson had a plurality of votes but he did not have the necessary majority. so adams was elected a and jackson had to wait four more years. and also the war of 1812 had nothing to do with political parties but madison's incompetence. he was secretary of state under jefferson said he had no real experience running the nation to have to make major decisions and jefferson made them. he was simply incompetent.
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he left most of jefferson's cabinet in place and took on some political hacks hacks, especially secretary of state. the new secretary of state. he has replaced with a republican leader of congress parker and the secretary of state was asked to do a disastrous job and having signed a peace treaty with the americans and london, it takes a month or more warships to cross the atlantic before the ship could bring copies of the treaty here, madison was talk to an baiting canada to show off how strong we were and of course, it was a disaster. >> you alluded at the beginning, the fact that most americans really do not
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recognize him as one of the great presidents. what do you think is the reason for that? >> the other gentleman asked the question and i think the reason simply is that historians like to cover exciting battles. a lot of blood, a lot of action. and they tend to ignore the solid work of hard-working political leaders. that is still probably true. people get elected over competition said here is a man elected for his competence. clearly. >> he lived for several years after he left the presidency. do you have any idea how he felt about his successes?
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>> the deep inside he favored john quincy adams and have worked with him eight years. in those days, secretary of state was the most important figure in government because we were surrounded by foreign powers. the secretary of state had a very, very important role to deal with the rest of the world reprimanded john quincy adams had been working 10 or with the did amended service so clearly come adams was the most competent man in foreign affairs and he favored them the state of the election. he did not feel it was a role as did washington as in
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a sitting president has the right to get involved -- involved. >> you mentioned how after the election monroe made day tour of the united states. but that put him out of washington in a sense then out of touch with what was going on for months at a time and very difficult for communication back and forth for is that just a sign of the times of the fact that maybe those decisions were being made by other people in washington? >> that is a wonderful question. in those days come of people in washington were not the ones they about their role is not to brass loss after
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loss after was they did their business and got home to their farms but the most of them doctors, lawyers, bankers, f armers. they have full-time jobs and this was a part-time job. not much was going on in washington. what was going on with the rest of the country. monroe, like washington, remembered no television, no email, and no communication. the only mean was weekly newspapers that would cover amount weeks late with the news. like washington, monroe did not want the presidency to become a monarchies sitting in a cocoon away from all the people. he went out and that is why he was so loved. he was a people's president. he went into the farmland
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and shook their hand and walked over the fields and became one of them, and has washington had done for the other presidents sat in philadelphia them later in washington as they do today. as does congress. men and women today. they sit in washington and isolated and they are not in touch. monroe wanted to be in touch. as a result, he found out what they wanted and provided it for them. >> monroe is obviously a man of great accomplishments, did he express when he considered to be his finest everyone who knew him, they all say he was very modest man.
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a gentle man. >> day louisiana purchase come out of them for my eight months there will 12 reasons france was willing to part with the territory? and the population of the territory to what extent was the colonial frenchmen as distinct from others? for month very few although there were some, this was the big difference english and settlers came to settle and most of the spanish camps were sent to the one way or the other but in the
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south it wanted or if they found and the french wanted furs and pelts and they found that but they have no tendency to settle part of the british were content to settle because they came from a crowded ireland. but they were true settlers. the reason the french were willing to give it up for such a small price and get rid of it is napoleon had it up to here with the colony is. is army led by his brother-in-law was slaughtered by an uprising of hate of haitians, jefferson was threatening and madison was secretary of state but there rumors that they would would retroceded. those rumors sell-off of the
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rumors and send tens of thousands of troops to put up a barrier on the appellations and then settled we see an up. madison said he could announce 200,000 citizens soldier on the mississippi before napoleon could get his troops over here. combined with the haitian uprising and now he was getting defeated in spain, the british had intervened in spain and were pushing the french out and he realized he had too much and had extended his forces to far and too wide and he said literally to hell with the colony's. to hell with coffee, to haul
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with all of the products and sugar of haiti and he decided to look that territory go. >> [inaudible] >> it went both ways. his foreign minister was involved in the negotiations. the americans did not trust him and napoleon did not trust him. it went in circles and finely the negotiations between napoleon own representitive and monroe that settled the deal. >> uc his number book and also to sign a $6 million loan?
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what did he use for collateral? >> justice and pitcher. [laughter] he could talk people into anything. just his signature. one could only guess what the accent's were like in those days when they were part british, the softer virginia accent that still existed when i was a boy but now has disappeared. he could talk anybody, you just trusted the man. and he talked of them into running five for $6 million. [laughter] >> monroe started out being against the constitution because it gave too much power to the federal government. and he winds up buying louisiana and florida and
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going beyond the powers granted did he ever explain himself? >> no. neither did any of his predecessors park ave of continued to violate the constitution and every branch of the effort has violated the constitution since day one. washington had no authority to send troops to crush the whiskey rebellion. he had no authority to demand that congress give him control over the executive departments. john marshall, when he became chief justice had no constitutional authority to declaring half of the state laws audit -- unconstitutional. nothing gives the supreme court the right to declare laws unconstitutional. it does give congress the right to pass laws thomas
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state law but does not give the supreme court that right. every supreme court, every president and every congress every senate and house of representatives has usurped power is not granted by the constitution. sadly, most of them do think as our former vice president said that prostitution is a quaint document that it is impractical at times the practical in terms of day-to-day politics. i think you all very much for coming. [applause] thank you. i will be happy to sign books for you. [inaudible conversations]
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>> how are you?
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the. >> in your book the making of a catholic president to say the liability to be catholic in 1960. why? >> conventional wisdom was catholic could not be elected because of what
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happened in 1928 when herbert hoover destroyed his opponent and it was widely believed because al smith lost so badly even in 1968 catholic could not be elected. but think about it today. i guess atheist get elected or could african-american and getting elected? we do stills think of those labels. >> host: did herbert hoover exploit the consolidation catholicism? >> not really. scholars and political people argued over why he loss. he was a new york democrat which did not play well so there may have been many reasons why he lost prepped i cannot see that he exploited that. >> host: how did the kennedy campaign turned catholicism into an asset?
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>> guest: they were panicked for most of the campaign by labor day they had a pollster who gave the poll for free showing 23 percent of labor day was undecided. when you drove down among the undecided voters, the perception he may be a victim of the anti-catholic bigotry would drive them to the democratic column brought that point* kennedy changed the strategy work of the truth was by labor day if you were against him because you were a catholic from the work on if you would never come back. so they decided on the other boaters and talk their prevention? >> guest: nixon was in a bind. on the one hand he wanted to hold catholics and his party but he wanted to increase the number of products in
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the fact they he could not do it overtly or the one television and say you cannot vote because it is against your theology he would come off as the anti-catholic bigot. he had a clandestine campaign where he hired a staffer who traveled the country and network with the major evangelical leaders of the day and preachers of the day to talk more about anti-catholic themes and disseminate more anti-catholic literature. nixon had to be careful in a vacaville man sort of way to have forces in the field. >> host: low was the role of a norman vincent peale and billy graham? >> they were crucial program moved to europe in the summer by continued to hold meetings in europe of leading protestant evangelical leader strategizing how we can be this guy. they came up with a host of
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meeting in washington d.c. in early september at the mayflower hotel and he chaired that meeting it was a secret meeting and the clergy were there and they strategizing raw how to plot against kennedy. the media infiltrates that meeting the there was the impromptu press conference where this absolutely exploded pratt that point* john kennedy was on his first campaign trip to california which was going abysmal and went off like a bombshell when people learned that norman vincent peale were organizing millions around the country and can be actually had an informant who told him all nixon was doing and they were terrified what they learned, one week later kennedy made the famous used in the speech in a panic. review river that today and think of kennedy in that
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campaign, that is the speech we think of but that is what he did not want to make but out of fear and desperation in response to what billy graham's and peel was doing behind the scenes. >> you can vote for me because i am a democrat for cry happen to be catholic bet i will not be the catholic presidency. the pope will not give me marching orders but he did say under specific public policy issues i differ from the church. i will not get federal aid dollars to parochial schools and if a foreign country asks us weren't assistance for birth control affirmation become what i will decided on the merits. >> but we happen ambassador. >> we do. harry truman first tried to do this but tried to make
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general mark clark, a world war ii hero the first ambassador and there was such a cry against that from protestants that the germans drew it back realizing politically would be a mistake. either jimmy carter or ronald reagan actually have the political cover to appoint him. so e eventually, it was not an issue. >> host: so where do the catholic boats go? >> guest: overwhelmingly john kennedy burma he received a historic roach. interestingly enough, the st. exactly the same protestant vote it was a catholic migration that provided the 10 days blubber of united states to seven another book out on the elections come a what is the fascination with the collections.
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>> is the characters they're the most beautiful plug zero mines and they put them together base to face with vivid to taking over it. of our problems for both candidates and it was such april finished and kennedy barely whiz by 800,000 votes. people go back to that and if they say but it is interesting to see these titans going toe to toe with such a quick election and i argue it helped kennedy win and a nixon lose the election. had he done a better job handling religion he could have won the race. >> host: you were involved in the 2008 campaign. in what capacity? >> i serve as an adviser for
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one-year then when good general election, i am sorry for obama the purpose then i went on staff. >> host: what is your taebo? >> part of the average team and part of the volunteers and the lesson redrew from the race is that kennedy had extremely serious religion problem and insiders said you will win the race except possibly because of your religion. and he was flex he never encountered the anti-catholicism you find in the united states has far as the bag but was when he surrounded himself was smart people and did a listening tour of off the record leading anti-catholic
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partisans say you're a democrat you like my policy we will vote against me because of my family because that is confusing to me. he applied tremendous asset personally and in terms of the campaign to work through and develop a strategy, a flexible strategy as the campaign unfolded. the same can be said about president obama. he went into the race with some weaknesses with certain religious groups and the united states. just like some in recent years come he was not afraid to parse the problem to hire people to think through and directly talk to the folks folks, the principles that are involved. but it did not keep him at engaging with the issues that they face. >> host: making of a catholic president. of the author and former